Sunday, January 29, 2006
Scrap Multimedia Release 1 [DVD]: ScrapKillarRoadMovies
Regular readers will know that I’m not a lover of the music DVD. In general I feel music and video do very little to help each other. But I have to say that this DVD grabbed my attention right from the word go. The imaginative way the tracks are introduced and linked ensure you keep your eye on the ball. And what a ball we have! Psychedelia from Brighton’s Criminals of Evolution, a stunning animated mix of Metropolis and Guernica from Theodor Bastard from St Petersburg. Ren’s CGI film of George W waxing lyrical. Live Mayhem bringing Global Warning from Pete Missing and DJ Hazard out of New York. Even the more conventional performance footage and what could be dull self adulatory ads for Dirty Squatters’/Scrap’s other wares and traveller/eco-warrior propaganda are well put together. They are neatly doctored and edited in such a varied manner that the potential boredom factor disappears into the overall impression is of an excellently integrated product. No doubt the whole thing would be even better viewed on one of those giant home cinema systems in a darkened room enhanced with aromatic ambience enhancement. But on a crappy little 14” telly the effect is good enough for me!
Rosolina Mar: Before and After Dinner
Rosolina Mar: Before and After Dinner Wallace records
If Justice was a feature of the record industry, this would be one of the most widely acclaimed discs of the century so far. It’s absolutely brilliant. Not least because it’s one of those all-too-rare occurrences nowadays – a purely instrumental album. Plus, it’s executed with consummate skill and extreme panache.
It kicks off with a very mysterious theme reminiscent of a dark geisha house scene in one of those 1970s Japanese movies which no-one really comprehends but everyone nods sagely about when it’s mentioned in late night conversation. Then we move onto an amusing piece of early Zappa cartoonery - a staccato jazz/space-rock fusion the likes of which has not been experienced for many a long year. This sets the tone for several numbers of the same ilk. Some develop quite a groove conjuring ancient visions of The Who at Woodstock or The Magic Band charming the snakes of the Mojave Desert, while others have bluesy or proggy guitar riffs which again recall bygone golden ages – sadly missed by us ageing hipsters. At the same time it has an insistent punky dimension that gives it added verve [that makes it sound like a dogfood – so lap it up].Some of the tracks are really quite sparce but this proves highly effective in producing the dramatic result the musicians presumably intended. This I judge to be a measure of the competence of an instrumentalist. Less is more - and all that. Lastly, but not leastly – the CD has one of the most surprising endings I’ve ever heard.
So, here we have a truly momentous record of great importance to lovers of the musical genres mentioned above. You’d be foolish not to visit the websites to find how to get hold of this gem. Meanwhile, I’d be grateful to anyone who can supply me with translations of the intriguing Italian titles many of the tracks sport – it won’t change my opinion of the music but I’m always curious to see if my perception ever ties up with the artists’ intentions!